Tag Archive | Holidays

Merry Armenian Christmas — Orthodox Christmas

Armenia

Armenians celebrate Christmas (surb tsnunt, Սուրբ Ծնունդ, meaning “saint birth”) on January 6 as a public holiday in Armenia. It also coincides with the Epiphany. Traditionally, Armenians fast during the week leading up to Christmas. Devout Armenians may even refrain from food for the three days leading up to the Christmas Eve, in order to receive the Eucharist on a “pure” stomach. Christmas Eve is particularly rich in traditions. Families gather for the Christmas Eve dinner (khetum, Խթում), which generally consists of: rice, fish, nevik (նուիկ, a vegetable dish of green chard and chick peas), and yogurt/wheat soup (tanabur, թանապուր). Dessert includes dried fruits and nuts, including rojik, which consists of whole shelled walnuts threaded on a string and encased in grape jelly, bastukh (a paper-like confection of grape jelly, cornstarch, and flour), etc. This lighter menu is designed to ease the stomach off the week-long fast and prepare it for the rather more substantial Christmas Day dinner. Children take presents of fruits, nuts, and other candies to older relatives.

It is frequently asked as to why Armenians do not celebrate Christmas on December 25 with the rest of the world. Obviously, the exact date of Christ’s birth has not been historically established—it is not recorded in the Gospels. However, historically, all Christian churches celebrated Christ’s birth on January 6 until the fourth century. According to Roman Catholic sources, the date was changed from January 6 to December 25 in order to override a pagan feast dedicated to the birth of the Sun which was celebrated on December 25. At the time Christians used to continue their observance of these pagan festivities. In order to undermine and subdue this pagan practice, the church hierarchy designated December 25 as the official date of Christmas and January 6 as the feast of Epiphany. However, Armenia was not affected by this change for the simple fact that there were no such pagan practices in Armenia, on that date, and the fact that the Armenian Church was not a satellite of the Roman Church. Thus, remaining faithful to the traditions of their forefathers, Armenians have continued to celebrate Christmas on January 6 until today.[42]

In addition to the Christmas tree (tonatsar, Տօնածառ), Armenians (particularly in the Middle East) also erect the Nativity scene. Christmas in the Armenian tradition is a purely religious affair. Santa Claus does not visit the nice Armenian children on Christmas, but rather on New Year’s Eve. The idea of Santa Claus existed before the Soviet Union and he was named kaghand papik (Կաղանդ Պապիկ), but the Soviet Union had a great impact even on Santa Claus. Now he goes by the more secular name of Grandfather Winter (dzmerr papik, Ձմեռ Պապիկ).

CREDITS: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_worldwide

Welcome 2014! Happy New Year!

Hello everyone, Now that 2013 is behind us, looking forward to brand new year, a fresh start, another 365 days. I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year 2014. I wish you and your loved ones a happy, healthy, prosperous, successful year. Wishing you the best, and may 2014 be full of love, great and happy surprises, great memories and so much more. What are your plans for 2014? What are your resolutions? Do you keep up with your resolutions? What changes do you want to see? We can all make a difference in the world if we all pitch in and do our best to make this world a better place.

Are you planning to travel in 2014? lets see what 2014 has in store for all of us. I hope that everything will go well and we will go through another year. I know every year, we have our ups and downs and things always change in a year, but I hope that everything will be ups for everyone. I cannot believe 2013 is over. It went by so quickly. It seems just like yesterday we were celebrating 2013, but now onto another year. It seems like every passing year, time and the days are going by quicker and quicker.

This year I plan to attain, and accomplish many goals I have already set out. I do a lot of reflection the last week of the year thinking about what to do for the year ahead. Well, Goodbye 2013. Welcome 2014!

Wrapping up 2013 – Highlights of My Year

Wow, what a year it has been. Today is the last day of 2013, and there have been ups and downs, but mostly ups, and I have been so blessed in the past year with such incredible and beautiful Highlights, that I will never forget and I usually jot down all of my highlights in a note so that I can look back to see what I have accomplished, where I traveled, and other important days to remember. Here are the highlights of my year:

Did a Bit of Traveling by air and on the road — traveled to Dominican Republic, Boston, Massachusetts, (Had a Layover at the airport in Newark, New Jersey when I was landing I saw New York City — Yes I consider that A place I went to and saw this year), Visited Michigan, Cambridge, Ontario, and Niagara Falls.

When I visited Dominican Republic in Santo Domingo, went to the Be Live Hamaca Resort where I met incredible and lovely people and we became friends. It was a great gathering.

I had always wanted to go and eat and drink at “CHEERS” Bar in Boston, Massachusetts, It was an iconic TV Show from back in the day in the 80′s and 90′s, and I scratched that off my bucket list. Thank you to my kouyrigs/sisters in Boston for making that possible and for making that happen. Had Nachos and Beer there. Its a must to have The Cheers beer.

I visited the iconic and popular University of Harvard, touched John Harvard’s Shoe. toured Harvard Square and its vicinity, and ended up Graduating (lol)

Mastered the Boston Accent — MASTAHD THAH BAHSTAN ACCENT

Tried Sushi for the first time ever in the summer and I loved it. Now cannot get enough of it. Thank you to someone who is very dear to me, who introduced sushi, sashimi, maki rolls and so much more in the Japanese Cuisine.

Had the best lobster ever at the Lobster Pool in Massachusetts. I also dined at the Cheesecake factory

Went to a few parties here and there.

Attended Bible Studies and Conferences

Went to the Armenian Toronto Summer fest with my great friend, but I call her my sister from Montreal that I did not see for a while. It was a great reunion.

I am proud to say that this year one of my friends became a Contestant on Jeopardy and I can finally say I know someone who was a contestant on Jeopardy.

Met some of my Online Facebook friends in person, whom are like family to me now.

My Blog and Social Media and marketing success went through a roof, where I got an offer to write recipes in the Food and Drink Magazine, I have Robert Herjavec, Kevin O’Leary, Arlene Dickensen, and Jim Treliving subscribed to my blog. They are from Dragons, Den, I have reached close to 400,000 blog hits, Famous chefs such as Massimo Capra, Jamie Oliver, and Jacques Pepin and more have followed me as well. My LinkedIn Profile has been seen and followed by Arlene Dickensen. Plus so many people around the Globe have viewed and followed my blog from places I had never even heard about. Many people have added my blog site to their websites. So many more highlights that I cannot even remember them all. Thank you all for the support, and I will continue doing my work in 2014 and beyond.

I have written over 700 Articles.

Accomplished many personal goals and achieved excellence

All My cousins and I reunited for the first time since 1999, the summer I came back from Armenia.

Here is to 2014, with many more highlights to come.
Have a lovely New Year and best wishes, Health and happiness.

Thousands Still Without Power in Wake of Ice Storm in Toronto

On December 21st, 2013 a major Ice Storm hit havoc across Southern Ontario, and mainly in Toronto and Greater Toronto Area’s, that left hundreds of thousands of Hydro Electricity Customers out of power and thousands of people are still without power at this moment. Trees and branches hit power lines which left peoples electricity crippled. This is unlike anything the City of Toronto and Southern Ontario has seen before, and in the history of Storms, this is the worst ever weather that walloped in our area. Homes have hit the all time low temperatures in their homes. some at -2 temperatures, that even blankets are not able to keep people warm. Across the cities that have been effected, have warming stations where people can come spend the night, sleep over, have some warm and hot food and beverages. Some have started to get frustrated and some have become so cold that they cannot handle it anymore. I know that it is frustrating and I know that its not a great thing, but Hydro workers are doing the best they can and are working around the clock to get these Electricity transformers working again. I know some are running out of patience, but what can you do? It will take time, but I am sure that things will get back to normal by the weekend. Do not lose hope. Things will work out for the better. Believe me.

Earlier this week, there was a loud boom like an explosion going off, and there have been many reports saying we heard a loud boom, some said that It is Santa Claus on the roofs of the houses, some thought it was a tree that hit the roof, little did people know that there was a Frost Quake that hit and that only happens at extreme cold temperatures after an Ice Storm hits or when there is extreme frost. It rarely happens, but its surely scared a lot of residents and woke a lot of people up. It was heard in the middle of the night into the wee hours in the morning. I hope everyone stays safe and if there is no urgency to go out or do things, do not go out. Stay home, be warm and I hope that those people who do not have power get their power soon and hopefully by today. Hope it can be some sort of New Years Miracle.

 

The Toronto Ice Storm and Areas Around – Be Careful Out There

On Saturday December 21st, 2013, on the first official day of winter, a terrible ice storm hit the City of Toronto, GTA, and areas around, where over 300,000 homes were and are still without power, knocking down tree branches, trees, sparks from hydro electrical wires, and making it very dangerous for driving and being out and about. Many places have closed stores, restaurants and even churches were cancelled as Sunday approached. Many trees and other surfaces have thick layers of ice due to the rain, freezing rain and ice pellets that hit the ground.  Many people have put their skates on and started skating on the roads and on their driveways in the city, many pictures show that trees have been toppled on cars, driveways, and roadways creating havoc, blockage and so much more. Winter has hit Ontario, Canada very early this year and it has been a month of active weather with snow, sleet, and very cold conditions. We are officially in winter now, and we still have about 3 more months to deal with this all. This is the first time Toronto has been hit with an ice storm and it is the worst in History as it has been reported on television today.

Hope that people can get electricity restored in time for Christmas. This is not something people want to deal with before Christmas begins. Hopefully food in peoples fridge does not get spoiled, and hopefully people’s plans will not be put on hold. I pray that everything goes back to normal. Electricity is something that is so important and of value to people. I cannot imagine how people used to go without electricity back in the olden days. I want to say to people to stay safe during this active winter weather, and if you do not have to drive out if its not so important, please stay indoors, keep warm, and keep off the roads, and if you know any elderly people who live around you or have elderly people in your family, do keep in touch with them to make sure they are okay, and if they need anything or need to be with anybody right now, its a good idea to look after them and as well as anybody else who needs anything.

At times like this it truly shows peoples great heart and love for others to help them during this difficult time in this terrible ice storm. Its very great to be seeing people helping each other on the news on the residential streets, and giving each other a helping hand with clearing off the tree branches from the streets, and so much more. Hope all goes well and things will workout for the better in the end.

My Christmas Movie Favorites

For the past month or two, we may or may not have seen all the classic Christmas movies that have been airing on television and some of the Christmas movies stand out for me and are tradition for me to watch annually, and I never miss watching them. I enjoy watching them with having some popcorn, drinking hot chocolate, putting a blanket on me, and enjoying them with family and friends. These movies are wonderfully and tastefully done and I really enjoy them. Here are my favorite Christmas movie’s in no particular order.

1. Home Alone

2. Home Alone 2 Lost in New York

3. Santa Clause 1 and 2

4. Jack Frost

5. National Lampoons Christmas Vacation

6. Four Christmases

7. Jingle All the Way

8. Miracle on 34th St

9. Christmas with the Cranks

10. Elf

11. Frosty the Snowman

12. How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

13. A Charlie Brown Christmas

14. The Muppet Christmas Carol

What are your favorite Christmas movies? What is your Christmas Movie tradition?

Would love to hear from you. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2014.

In The Kitchen With Stefano Faita

Recently, I discovered an incredible, wonderful and not to mention great looking chef on television on CBC. I was flipping through the channels one time and I really enjoy cooking shows, so I stopped on CBC’s channel while I saw this cooking show, and I saw that it was In The Kitchen with Stefano Faita, so I started to watch his cooking show, and I automatically knew it was a show I would like then I began to love it. I cannot wait to watch his show daily and especially, by the way Chef Stefano explains the way to cook food, incredibly easy methods, very tasty, full of flavour foods of which I like. I love to cook myself and I can tell that he is not afraid of adding a lot of flavour and he is always enthusiastic and excited when it comes to food.

This past week, I had the pleasure of speaking with Chef Stefano Faita during his chat that he had set up for his fans to ask him questions, and he gave me tips and tricks on what to do with stir fry when it becomes too liquidy, to always make sure my wok is hot and to make sure the liquid from the meat and vegetables dry out before putting in the soya sauce or whatever seasoning , and I had also asked him how to make pasta from scratch and he explained it to me thoroughly and I got to see his recipes and he answered me so quickly because it was an hour chat with him. He seems to be such a great person all around and I am so glad I got that moment to talk with him. I’d love to meet Chef Stefano Faita someday and enjoy his food that he makes with his magic chef hands. I am really impressed, and there are foods and ingredients that I never knew of until I learned them from Stefano. I enjoy chopping, dicing and the way he handles food. He is a natural.

I have learned so much about cooking from him that, I cannot wait to try his recipes at home to feed my family, friends and when people come over whether it’s for the holidays, occasions or for no reason, just to hang out with great company and great food in the mix, that will keep people coming back for more as Stefano says while he is cooking on Television.

You can catch In The Kitchen with Stefano Faita on CBC at 3:30pm Monday-Friday’s  in Canada or you can go to www.cbc.ca/inthekitchen to obtain more information, Stefano’s recipes, and where you can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and more. You can also go to a taping of his show and be part of his audience. I wish Stefano Faita the best and May you continue working with those Magic Chef hands that you are so gifted with.

WestJet’s Beautiful Christmas Surprise – I Love This Airline

Christmas holidays are just around the corner and as you may or may not be aware or know about this, but in the last week or two, there has been a video that has gone viral around the world with millions of viewership of WestJet Airlines  when WestJet employees went on an incredible journey to surprise many of their Customers with unexpected packages and gifts awaiting them at the baggage claim area of Calgary’s Airport. In the beginning, there was a screen where you scan your boarding pass and a Santa Claus appears and he knows each passenger by their first and last names, Santa asks what they want for Christmas, whereas behind the scenes the Staff of WestJet were so organized and they wrote everyone’s wishes and then set out to buy these gifts, some thought it was a joke by saying they want Underwear and Socks, A Family wanted a TV, some wanted Tablets, a Camera and so much more. So everyone received exactly what they wanted for Christmas. The Person who wanted Socks and Underwear is probably kicking himself saying Oh my goodness, what did I do? lol

WestJet Flights were from Toronto and Hamilton on their way to Calgary so the team of WestJet staff sent e-mails right away to Calgary and where the staff there ventured off so quickly to buy the presents, bring them back to the airport and get them wrapped up and shipped to the Baggage claim area and get them all ready until the flights arrived there. More than 150 passengers came to a complete shock and some cried, were emotional and so many incredible things unfolded.

This and other reasons are why I love WestJet, they care about their customers and passengers, they go out of their way to make sure all passengers have everything they need, they have incredibly and awesome planes that is so comfortable. I flew with WestJet twice, so I know exactly how that felt. I wasn’t so lucky about the presents, but that is besides the point. Many airlines can learn and thing or two about service, about how to care for customers with always smiling, and so much more. WestJet is an airline that does not cut corners. They do everything so professionally yet wonderfully. This Christmas surprise was one that I will never forget and I keep playing this video on replay, and I have seen it more than 15 times. The smiles on these passengers faces and staffs faces are so beautiful, it is great to feel appreciated and money does not even justify anything at that point.

Passengers pay so much for airfare, people do their best to try to go away on trips and this tastefully done beautiful Christmas surprise was all worth it. I wish all airlines can give something back to their passengers. Not only to safely land and take off with their passengers to different destinations, but to show appreciation by eliminating the $25.00 luggage check bag fees, and by offering more services to better airlines. It goes a long way. These airlines do not realize it, but the more they do for passengers and keeping everyone happy, the more business they will have, the more better things will become. Money should not be everything, and Westjet made that very clear with what they did for these people. These things like what WestJet did to their passengers go a long way. It feels nice to be appreciated, it feels nice to make us passengers feel like we’re important, feel like were priority against anything else. Thank you Westjet for doing this. Beautifully and well done. Your forever customer, Talin Orfali — I will definitely be flying my third time again, but I hope soon.

Here is the video I am talking about. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=zIEIvi2MuEk

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year – Love Talin Orfali

It is that time of year again. I cannot believe how quickly 2013 flew by. Just yesterday we were celebrating Christmas and New Years for 2012/2013, and now as 2013 is coming to a close, were doing it all over again with putting up the lights, the decorations, finding that perfect tree, or putting up a tree that has been in storage. I love Christmas time when everywhere is decorated with beautiful colours, beautiful Christmas lights on homes, wrapped presents, ornaments, tinsel, snow globes, candles, manger, stables, the nativity scene, Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, the Elves, Snowman, Mistletoe, Cookies and Milk, candy canes, the food, the celebrations, and of course and especially celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ with Mary and Joseph and the Three Wise Men and how Mary was chosen to give Birth to a King.

What are your Christmas traditions in your family? What exciting things do you do? Some families put on Christmas Sweaters, some families play games, and so on and so forth. What do you like to cook and serve to your loved ones? Christmas for me every year is always different, either we have a lot of people come over, some Christmases are spent going to other peoples homes, or going out to a party, so I cannot really say what is tradition with my loved ones, but every year is always different, but we do manage to always find a way to get together. When we do, we love cooking turkey, ham, rice, vegetables, gravy, and other things. I love baking my signature cinnamon cake which people I know love it, so they want more and more of it. It has been such a long time I have not decorated a Gingerbread house, but I think I will do that this year.

I love watching Christmas movies at this time of year like Miracle on 34th street, Home Alone 1 and 2, National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, Jack Frost, Four Christmases, Santa Clause, Santa Clause 2, I also love watching the Santa Claus Parade on television. I must have watched Home Alone 1 and 2 8 or 9 times this year alone on TV and I just love that movie especially. There is something about Home Alone 1 and 2, that make you get pulled into it and its so hard to flip the channel. After that Home alone 3-5 was all downhill and I did not enjoy them as much because when you change Characters, when you change the setting, it won’t be the same as the first 2. I know Home Alone 1 and 2 by heart, and if you put the movie on mute, I can say the whole script.

Anyway, lastly, I also want to acknowledge those people who are not so lucky during the Christmas and New Year Holidays, that are alone, but not really alone because there are people in this world that are thinking of them and one of them is me, people who do not have a warm home to go to, those who are less fortunate, those who cannot afford or who do not have enough to provide for their families and I’d like to reach out to all of those people around the world and tell them that I am thinking of them and they are in my heart, mind and soul and my thoughts and prayers are with them all and I wish them the best for 2014 and I hope that they too can have a nice and lovely Christmas. I want them to know that they are not alone and that I am with them all. The presents and Materialism shouldn’t matter, but all that matters is togetherness and creating memories.  I wish everyone peace, harmony, happiness, health, success, and all the great things of life. I wish everyone a prosperous, great, and lovely new year. Many blessings to all and wishing everyone all the best. With love always, Talin Orfali

Kitchen & Time Saving Tips for The Upcoming Holiday’s

It is that time again and it is quickly approaching where we are just a few weeks away from Christmas and New Year holidays, and a lot of people get so frustrated, and are confused with what to cook, what to do to save time in Kitchen and so much more. The Holidays are about spending time with your loved ones, making memories and cherishing precious and personal moments with them and to spend less time in the kitchen, which is why I have these tips and tricks to help you in that department. Well, without further a do, here they are:

— 1 or 2 weeks before your big dinner night with your loved ones, decide on the menu and what you will cook and serve as snacks, as dinner and dessert. We know how hectic it can be to make several types of dishes, but simplicity is key. Do not overload your table with so many options of foods. Limit the amount.

— a week before the big event, do all your grocery shopping. Do not wait until last-minute as that time is to start preparing the day or 2 before, but if they are foods that will need to be prepared on the day of, make sure you start early in preparations.

— If you have more than 10-20 people or more or less, it is a good idea to buy Christmas Holiday style disposable cutlery and plates to set the table or set them to the side like a buffet table along with of course napkins, disposable cups and glasses for juice, soft drinks, wine, beer, alcoholic beverages, so that no washing dishes are involved. Keep the garbage bags on standby where you can get a reach of it quickly. (The only washing of dishes would be servers, and plates, pans that have the food that is cooked from it.

— Before your loved ones arrive, set all the desserts to the side where it will be quick to bring out.

— Do not spend half your time in the kitchen. Besides your loved ones came to get together and spend time together, to see each others faces. Preparation in advance is so important to do. Do not be afraid to ask for help, and delegate tasks for the whole family to do before others start coming over.

— Of course the house should be clean and tidy, use a rug at the front of the door to put people s shoes and organize them so that shoes will not be everywhere. make room in your closet for people’s coats. So take all the coats out that you and your family who live there and take them and put them in another room. If you have enough space for all jackets in your closet, then its all good.

— Before the meal, when people start knocking on your door and come in, have vegetable trays and chips bowls on the table or whatever snacks you will serve, but not over indulge in the snacks so that you have room for the main dinner. Then after the dinner is done, put out the snacks and dessert table. again limit the desserts as well.

— In the kitchen when you are about to start cooking, take out all cooking equipment out and once you use something and will not need it anymore, simply wash them, dry them and put them away, so that you have less dishes to wash later.

— when your loved ones are over, make sure everything is ready, then all you do is just bring them over to the table which won’t take more than 5 minutes, keep the food warm on the oven, until it is time to serve. After serving your food, and after eating, clear the table and of course throw out the disposable plates, cutlery and cups and glasses, then just give the table a quick wipe. Then quickly convert it to the dessert table where everything is self-serve. Also use disposable dessert plates and cutlery as well.

— Leave the washing of the big dishes until later so that you can enjoy your loved ones to the fullest and if people want to volunteer to help you clean and wash, allow them and it will be fun as well-doing things together. just not all on you.

— make the coffee, espresso and put the water into the coffee maker, in advance. after dinner, just press the button and the coffee will start to brew. Also make those disposable cups. Remember less washing the better it is for you.

— decide on decorations on table, centerpieces and theme. I have read that people dress up in Christmas sweaters, and same colours, sometimes people just come in anything.

This is super important if your loved ones have a little too much to drink, do not allow them to drive a vehicle and make sure they stay over, until they are sober to drive again. Do not drink and drive and enjoy the holidays responsibly. You can save your life, your loved ones lives and others lives who share the road with you. When you know there is alcohol involved and you know that your loved ones will drink, ask to collect everyone’s car keys and place them in a basket and put the basket in another room and keep the door locked and when people leave just bring the basket out and let people grab their keys only if they have not drunk. or if they had one drink or something that still gives them the capability to drive.

— When nature calls, some of your loved ones will want to use the washroom. It is a good idea to have paper towels on standby so that your towels won’t be soaking wet when another person decides to dry their hangs, and a couple of rolls of toilet paper on the side, and extra hand washing soap if need be.

That is all for now, but if there is any particular questions you need to ask, do not hesitate to comment or personally e-mail me. You can find my e-mail on my contact me site which is located on top of the page. Thank you and have a great, safe, happy Christmas and Holiday season!

 

Happy Thanksgiving! Love From Talin

As Thanksgiving weekend has arrived and as I am thankful everyday not just this one day, I’d like to say thank you God for everyone in my life and everything. Thankful for having such a great beautiful family, beautiful friends, beautiful fans, and giving me my talents, and the special gifts in my life that keep me going. I do not care about the material things in life, all I care about are the people in it. You all are my gifts that make my life blossom. You all are my colorful flowers that make my world a beautiful place. I am grateful. Happy Thanksgiving, as everyday should be. God bless everyone and I love you all very much. I do not know what I would do without you all. I wish everyone great health, happiness and all great things of life. I am so blessed.

The Joyful Moments Of Cooking. How Much I Love It

In my life, one of the most joyful and satisfaction I receive is when I cook, bake and enjoy my time in the kitchen with all my favourite kitchen appliances that make my cooking a lot more enjoyable and fun at the same time. I was 8 years old and I remember cooking rice for the very first time. It was the best feeling in the world when my mom taught me how to wash it and cook it. Now with my mom’s supervision she watched me as I cooked and she said, great job and it was my first time doing it. I got so excited. From then on, I started cooking a lot for my family and then as soon as I turned 14 years old, I did not need supervision anymore, and I could do everything on my own. I learned how to make lasagna, chicken soup, and other different types of food since I was 10 years old. When I turned 20 years old, I began to take over the kitchen and I would tell my mom to go relax, and I told her I got this. So now without my mom being in the kitchen, I do all sorts of dishes, I bake cakes, cupcakes, I make cookies, jello, home-made ice cream, fruit platters, salads, I marinate meats, I make meatballs, Ravioli, Armenian and Middle Eastern Dishes, I make my famous Chilli, different types of breakfast, dips, sauces, and everything, Among other delicious things that my family, and who comes over to my house, that always want seconds and even thirds sometimes. I sometimes think, I should have made extra, but I love it when there is no left overs.  I love making everything from scratch. I seldom go and buy ready-made easy stuff, I enjoy making it all on my own. The best way to make it and you know exactly what is going into your food without all the added calories and ready-made products. Sometimes you see ready-made pasta, and lasagna trays from the grocery store, I never even touch those. I make mine fresh. You never know how long those things have stayed like that. I’d rather do it myself and it is a lot more fun that way.

I remember a time when I invited my whole group of friends over for Armenian Style Ravioli Called (Mante, Manti, Mantuh, Mantee, However they spell it), and the whole extra-large pot finished amongst everyone and to this day, they want my Armenian Style Ravioli, but that day will come again when I will invite them over.  I remember a time when I cooked for over 20-25 people and all on my own. I had over 4 or 5 different dishes with salads, meats, and rice. It was a lot of fun although it was very hard to take it all on myself, but I made sure that the flavours were perfect and that everyone enjoyed it and they sure did. I love taking on big tasks on my own. Although it is great to receive help too, but I like taking on challenges and doing things on my own. especially when it comes to cooking. I don’t know, but I have become a perfectionist in the kitchen and I just love things to be cooked evenly, the sizes and I love the presentation. Even if it’s just for my family on a regular dinner night. I just love the presentation. I get the joys and satisfaction when doing so.

When I go grocery shopping, I also donate food to the less fortunate, and I put food in the food bank boxes that are put in front of grocery stores or in certain shelters, at my church they have food banks and I put a few non-perishable food items in the box. I love donating food to them. Knowing that a family out there who is less fortunate and needy is fed, that also makes me happy and that also makes me feel great that someone doesn’t have to go to bed hungry at night. It feels great to donate.

Food is my specialty and knowing that my family enjoys it and knowing that I made this with my love and care is what it important to me. I don’t cook because I have to everyday and I don’t cook for the sake of it, I actually love doing what I do and making sure my family is fed with the best possible nutrition.  Happy Cooking everyone!

Had A Great Birthday Yesterday – Thank You For The Wishes

for 28 years now on April 30th, I celebrate my birthday. I am so happy and glad for all my birthdays and I am ever so grateful to God for giving me this life and I thank my parents for bringing me into this world and to experience everything I have experienced in my life, with traveling to many places, for giving me everything, a roof over my head, a nice warm bed to sleep in, food to eat and so much more. I am so thankful for everything as I look around the world and people do not even have running water to drink and bathe from. I am so fortunate and I have learned not to take anything from granted in my life.

There were times where some of my birthdays did not go as well as I had hoped for. Once in high school when I turned 16 years old, I had invited about 30 people to come over to my house for my sweet 16 birthday party and it was one of the most embarrassing yet humiliating things in my life where only one person showed up out of all the others. I was thinking they were my friends and everything but they really weren’t. I was devastated that I could not have a sweet 16 party, and also I never knew what it felt like to have a surprise birthday party or even had a big party to celebrate me and my day. I never knew what that feeling was like. I didn’t even know the feeling of when I turned 20, 21 years old where I would have a great party, but I did go to Montreal for my birthdays quite a lot in my early 20′s and to get away from things and to enjoy a dance club here and there with my friends in Montreal. The only parties I have ever had was when I was a kid where a lot of my family came over to celebrate and that is about it. To me The gifts weren’t important, but being with my family and couple of friends is what I want.

I know parties should not matter and everything, but in my case it does. In my early adult life and as an adult now, I want to be able to know what it feels like to have a party. I know that I can create my own party and have people over and stuff and go out but I just get those bad memories again when I was 16 years old. I really never had a lot of friends to begin with and I invited all those people and never showed up except for one. I was crushed and cried for days. I just want to know what it feels like to have a party and its all about me and having people around me that has come to celebrate me. I am hoping that will happen soon. I sometimes feel so isolated and they are feelings that I never want to get back. Nowadays everything is great. My beautiful friends took me out for my birthday over the weekend and surprised me with a cake which was so sweet of them. I will never forget that.

What have you experienced in the past about your birthday? Did you have a birthday that was a blast or not such a blast?

Anyways, I would like to take this opportunity to thank my family, friends and fans for all the birthday wishes, the phone calls, text messages, e-mails, facebook messages, the birthday cards, the birthday e-greetings, virtual cakes, flowers and everything. I really appreciate it so much from the bottom of my heart. I love you all!

Happy Easter Everyone! Wishing You The Best

Hello everyone, I am going to keep this short and sweet today as Today for some people it is Easter and I’d like to wish you all a happy Easter and wish you all the best. Many blessings to all of you. Thank you for your continued support in reading, and engaging into my blog. It is much appreciated. What are your Easter traditions? What do you cook for Easter? Is there anything in Particular that you and your friends or family do during Easter time? In My Family we get together for dinner, then we have egg cracking contests, distribute Chocolate, and then we usually pray and Thank the Lord for all that he has done for us.

Remember, it is not just about the Chocolates, Bunny Rabbits, Eggs, and the Pretty colours of Easter, it is about our Jesus Christ who sacrificed his life for us all and his love for us and he was crucified on the Cross. Today, Jesus Rose, and he is watching for all of us, but Easter may mean different things to different people and that is all okay too. What are you most Thankful for when it comes to Easter time? Being with Family and Friends is the most important and coming together during days like this is something great. It should always be that way right?

Well, I am going to keep this short today, so I wish you all the best and have a blessed and joyful day.

The Joyful Moments Of Cooking. How Much I Love It

In my life, one of the most joyful and satisfaction I receive is when I cook, bake and enjoy my time in the kitchen with all my favourite kitchen appliances that make my cooking a lot more enjoyable and fun at the same time. I was 8 years old and I remember cooking rice for the very first time. It was the best feeling in the world when my mom taught me how to wash it and cook it. Now with my mom’s supervision she watched me as I cooked and she said, great job and it was my first time doing it. I got so excited. From then on, I started cooking a lot for my family and then as soon as I turned 14 years old, I did not need supervision anymore, and I could do everything on my own. I learned how to make lasagna, chicken soup, and other different types of food since I was 10 years old. When I turned 20 years old, I began to take over the kitchen and I would tell my mom to go relax, and I told her I got this. So now without my mom being in the kitchen, I do all sorts of dishes, I bake cakes, cupcakes, I make cookies, jello, home-made ice cream, fruit platters, salads, I marinate meats, I make meatballs, Ravioli, Armenian and Middle Eastern Dishes, I make my famous Chilli, different types of breakfast, dips, sauces, and everything, Among other delicious things that my family, and who comes over to my house, that always want seconds and even thirds sometimes. I sometimes think, I should have made extra, but I love it when there is no left overs.  I love-making everything from scratch. I seldom go and buy ready-made easy stuff, I enjoy making it all on my own. The best way to make it and you know exactly what is going into your food without all the added calories and ready-made products. Sometimes you see ready-made pasta, and lasagna trays from the grocery store, I never even touch those. I make mine fresh. You never know how long those things have stayed like that. I’d rather do it myself and it is a lot more fun that way.

I remember a time when I invited my whole group of friends over for Armenian Style Ravioli Called (Mante, Manti, Mantuh, Mantee, However they spell it), and the whole extra-large pot finished amongst everyone and to this day, they want my Armenian Style Ravioli, but that day will come again when I will invite them over.  I remember a time when I cooked for over 20-25 people and all on my own. I had over 4 or 5 different dishes with salads, meats, and rice. It was a lot of fun although it was very hard to take it all on myself, but I made sure that the flavours were perfect and that everyone enjoyed it and they sure did. I love taking on big tasks on my own. Although it is great to receive help too, but I like taking on challenges and doing things on my own. especially when it comes to cooking. I don’t know, but I have become a perfectionist in the kitchen and I just love things to be cooked evenly, the sizes and I love the presentation. Even if it’s just for my family on a regular dinner night. I just love the presentation. I get the joys and satisfaction when doing so.

When I go grocery shopping, I also donate food to the less fortunate, and I put food in the food bank boxes that are put in front of grocery stores or in certain shelters, at my church they have food banks and I put a few non-perishable food items in the box. I love donating food to them. Knowing that a family out there who is less fortunate and needy is fed, that also makes me happy and that also makes me feel great that someone doesn’t have to go to bed hungry at night. It feels great to donate.

Food is my specialty and knowing that my family enjoys it and knowing that I made this with my love and care is what it important to me. I don’t cook because I have to everyday and I don’t cook for the sake of it, I actually love doing what I do and making sure my family is fed with the best possible nutrition.  Happy Cooking everyone!